“To Tat Or Not To Tat”
 Suburban Man Tries To Recapture His Cool

By Max Rankin


If you haven’t been to a health club recently, you’re missing quite a show. For one thing, a lot of the younger women are wearing skin-tight micro-shorts. Unfortunately, so are some of the older men so it’s a mixed bag, if you get my drift.

However, the real show is the dazzling array of skin art, or “tats” as the cool people say. These tats range from the small and tasteful to―ten years from now―“What the hell was I thinking?”

Then one fateful day, I asked myself, “Am I cool enough for a tattoo? In fact, am I cool at all?”

I used to be cool, y’know… well, at least semi-cool. In high school I sat one table away from the cool table. In college I could drink my weight in beer on a long weekend. And at Spring Break I was on the rules committee for the Wet T-Shirt Contests.

So what happened? A wife, two kids and a life insurance policy that makes me worth more dead than alive―a very sobering realization for a man.  Still, I believe that somewhere inside is a vestige of “cool dude.” And maybe all he needs is a little skin art to come bursting forth.

So I headed for the web to do some tattoo research, and I decided to create a spreadsheet to zero in on the perfect tat to recapture my coolness. As I was working on it, my wife happened by and asked what I was up to.

When I explained it to her, she said, “Listen, hon, if you need a spreadsheet to decide which tat you’re cool enough for, then you’re not.”

So what did I learn from all this? Two things:

  1. Once you transition from cool dude to responsible adult, you can’t go back.
  2.  I need looser gym shorts.

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